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Whistler luger Embyr-Lee Susko wins FIL Continental Cup

Canadians swept the podium in both the women's and men's races Jan. 14 at the Whistler Sliding Centre

Whistler's own Embyr-Lee Susko added another gold medal to her trophy case this past weekend, prevailing at the International Luge Federation (FIL) Continental Cup on Jan. 14 at the Whistler Sliding Centre (WSC). The 17-year-old finished in a combined time of one minute, 20.734 seconds, edging out Beattie Podulsky of Calgary, Alta. (1:21.874). Another Calgarian, Maya Yuen, rounded out the podium sweep for Canada (1:22.939). 

"It felt really good," said Susko, who is part of the Canadian junior national team. "There's definitely some things that could have been improved on, but overall, I slid well. I felt pretty confident in my sliding and I was just ready to put down two really solid runs on a home track." 

When asked what she felt she could improve on, Susko explained that she tends to battle her own nerves and hopes to continue learning how to calm herself on race day. 

Podulsky, a member of the junior development team, was likewise satisfied with her Saturday race, although she has higher aspirations in the spirit of friendly competition.  

"I felt really good about my performance," she said. "I did wish that I beat [Susko] because it is a goal of mine, but I'm really happy with the runs I laid down and how they went." 

Canadians likewise swept the men's podium, with Theo Downey winning gold (1:18.807), Billy Borger grabbing silver (1:19.149) and Bastian Van Wouw taking bronze (1:19.750). All three junior national teamers call Calgary home.

Downey is pleased with his victory, but hopes to further polish his skills over the course of the season.

"It was pretty good," he said. "I could have done better, I could have squeezed out more time, but still pretty decent. My starts are pretty good, but I'm still not quite at the level I want to be consistently, and I did have a few minor mistakes entering a few corners, so I want to iron out some things." 

The Continental Cup circuit features top youth athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 from Canada and the United States. Full results are available on the WSC website.